The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin: An Analogy for Antinatalism

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is a work of short philosophical fiction by the sci-fi writer Ursula K. Le Guin, originally published in 1973 and then re-republished in The Wind’s Twelve Quarters (1975), a collection of Le Guin’s short stories. This particular short story (which you can read here) describes the utopian city…View Post

The Last Messiah by Peter Wessel Zapffe: An Overview and Critical Analysis

The Norwegian philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe is little-known to most Anglophone readers. He was greatly inspired by Arthur Schopenhauer and has been called one of the “bleakest thinkers of all times and places”. Zapffe was also an avid mountaineer and a friend of fellow Norwegian philosopher – and originator of deep ecology – Arne Næss. His…View Post

On Antinatalism and Depression

Antinatalism is the view that procreation is morally wrong. Its most well-known current defender is David Benatar, a professor of philosophy at the University of Capetown, who explicated this moral position on procreation in his 2006 book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. However, antinatalism long predates Benatar’s work. Antinatalism has…View Post

Book Review: The Trouble With Being Born by Emil Cioran

The Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran (1911 – 1995) was a precocious thinker, reading the likes of Diderot, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche at the age of 14 (the latter having a major influence on his work). His precociousness was later exemplified by first major philosophical work, On the Heights of Despair, published in 1934, when…View Post

Telic vs Atelic Activities: A Response to Schopenhauer’s Pessimism

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote extensively on – what he believed to be – the intrinsic misery of existence. Even if you don’t end up agreeing with Schopenhauer’s pessimistic worldview, reading some of his writings on the human condition is still a reliable way to dampen your mood. As I will elaborate in this…View Post